UCSD drops complaint against Che for links

    The Che Cafe Collective is once again being accused by the administration of hosting a terrorist organization’s Web site on burn.ucsd.edu.

    A Che representative confirms that the collective received a letter from the administration informing them of the current situation on Oct. 10. No one from the collective would comment further.

    The collective was initially accused of violating the USA Patriot Act last month for providing a link to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in a letter from Gary Ratcliff, director of the University Centers, on Sept. 16. The university has since revoked its stance on hyperlinks, saying that any organization can post a link of its choice.

    The administration then changed its position to questioning the legality of “”hosting,”” which includes the ucsd.edu name in a Web site. The Che Cafe Collective was later accused of hosting the FARC Web site on the Burn site.

    Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Joseph Watson says the FARC is no longer an issue.

    “”As I understand it, that has been corrected,”” he said.

    The current investigation involves an allegation that the Burn site is hosting the Kurdistan Workers Party’s Web site. The group is on the U.S. State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

    Watson said that, as of two days ago, the group is being hosted by Burn.

    “”It [the PKK] was still connected to UCSD in a way that the UCSD name was included in the address of that organization’s Web site,”” Watson said.

    The linking and hosting issues have raised questions of free speech among First Amendment groups nationwide. Six groups signed a letter to the administration protesting the actions taken against the Che Cafe.

    The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression said that it signed the letter in defense of student rights.

    “”We are a free speech group, generally, and we are concerned with the Patriot Act. This obviously piqued our interest,”” said ABFEE President Chris Finan.

    The ABFEE is against censoring links, but is dubious about hosting.

    “”We haven’t taken a final position on whether or not that speech is protected,”” Finan said.

    Currently, the collective is not facing a formal charge of misconduct. Watson said that they have only been instructed to desist in hosting the link.

    “”I am not aware that they received a formal charge of misconduct. They did receive a letter from us indicating this matter of the Web site of the organization including the UCSD name and asked to correct the situation,”” Watson said.

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